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Trump rejected pleas from aides to call off crowd – Times News Online

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite desperate pleas for help, allies, a Republican congressional leader and even his family, Donald Trump has refused to call off the Jan. 6 mob attack on the Capitol, instead of “pouring gasoline on the fire” by aggressively tweeting his false claims of a stolen election and celebrating his crowd of supporters as “very special,” the House Investigative Committee showed Thursday night.

The panel documented how for approximately 187 minutes, from the time Trump left a rally stage sending his supporters to the Capitol to the time he finally appeared in the Rose Garden video that day, nothing could compel the defeated president to act. Instead, he watched the violence unfold on television.

“President Trump did not fail to act,” said Representative Adam Kinzinger, another Republican but frequent critic of Trump who served combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. “He chose not to act.”

Testimonials

Diving into its second prime-time hearing on the Capitol attack, the committee aimed to show a “minute-by-minute” account of Trump’s actions with new testimony, including from two White House aides, never-before-seen Secret Service security radio transmissions. officers fearing for their lives and behind-the-scenes discussions at the White House.

As the Capitol siege raged on, Trump was ‘giving the go-ahead’ to his supporters by tweeting condemnation of Vice President Mike Pence’s refusal to follow through on his plan to prevent certification of Joe Biden’s victory, a source said. former White House aide to the committee.

Two assistants resigned on the spot.

“I thought January 6, 2021 was one of the darkest days in our nation’s history,” Sarah Matthews told the panel. “And President Trump was treating it like a celebratory occasion. So that further reinforced my decision to quit.

The committee played audio of General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reacting in surprise to the president’s inaction during the attack.

“You are the commander-in-chief. You have an ongoing assault on the United States Capitol. And there is nothing? No call? Nothing, Zero? ” he said.

On Jan. 6, a furious Trump demanded to be taken to the Capitol after his supporters stormed the building, well aware of the deadly attack, but his security team refused.

“Within 15 minutes of leaving the stage, President Trump knew the Capitol was under siege and under attack,” said Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va.

At the Capitol, the crowd chanted “Hang Mike Pence,” Matt Pottinger, the former deputy national security adviser, testified as Trump tweeted his condemnation of his vice president.

Pottinger, testifying Thursday, said when he saw Trump’s tweet he immediately decided to quit, as did Matthews, who said she was a lifelong Republican but couldn’t accept what happened. She was the witness who called the tweet a “green light” and “pouring gasoline on the fire”.

Meanwhile, recordings of Secret Service radio transmissions revealed Capitol agents were trying to get Pence to safety amid the chaos and asking for messages to be relayed to say goodbye to their own family.

Previously registered

The panel showed never-before-seen testimony from the president’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., along with a text message to his father’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, urging the president to call off the mob.

Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner also testified in a recorded video of “scared” GOP leader Kevin McCarthy calling on him for help.

And in a startling moment, the panel showed Trump refusing to give a speech the next day declaring the election over, despite his daughter, Ivanka Trump, hearing off-camera, encouraging her to read the script.

“The president’s words matter,” said Luria, D-Va., a former Navy officer on the panel. “We know that many rioters were listening to President Trump.”

Luria said the panel received testimony confirming former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s previous powerful account of an altercation involving Trump when he insisted the Secret Service take him to Capitol Hill.

Among the witnesses testifying Thursday in recorded video was the retired District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department sergeant. Mark Robinson who told the committee that Trump was well aware of the number of guns in the crowd of his supporters but wanted to go anyway.

“The only description I got was that the president was upset, and he was adamant about going to Capitol Hill and there was a heated discussion about it,” Robinson said.

Speaker Bennie Thompson, appearing virtually as he self-isolates with COVID-19, opened Thursday’s hearing by saying that Trump as president has done “everything in his power to quash the election” he lost to Joe Biden, including before and during the deadly attack on the Capitol.

“He lied, he bullied, he betrayed his oath,” D-Miss Thompson charged.

Matt Pottinger, former deputy national security adviser, and Sarah Matthews, former deputy White House press secretary, take oath as the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, July 21, 2022. (Saul Loeb/Pool via AP)

Former White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews testifies as the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 21, 2022 Matt Pottinger, former deputy national security adviser, listens on the left. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Matt Pottinger, former deputy national security adviser, and Sarah Matthews, former deputy White House press secretary, were sworn in to testify as the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington on Thursday. , July 21, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Vice President Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks as the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 21 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

This exhibit from video released by the House Select Committee shows videos carried by riot police to the Capitol on January 6, shown during a hearing by the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Thursday, July 7, February 21, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (House Select Committee via AP)

This exhibit from video released by the House Select Committee shows President Donald Trump recording a video statement on the afternoon of Jan. 6, from the Rose Garden, displayed during a hearing by the House Select Committee the House investigating the January 6 attack on the United States. Capitol, Thursday, July 21, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (House Select Committee via AP)